Do we become more cynical with age?  I haven't hit thirty and yet I find myself becoming more jaded with time.  What happened to my upbeat Midwestern sweetheart personality that fit me so naturally as a teenager and a young adult?  Why is it so hard for me to maintain an cheerful heart?

This month I've had some dreadful trips (lots of delays, cancellations, rude passengers, etc.) and the disastrous flights have thrown my mood into a downward spiral.  The less-than-pleasant experiences put my focus on the negative aspects of my job.  In short,  I've been having a very "glass half empty" attitude all month.

My pessimism was obvious and completely transparent when I wrote my husband an email last week complaining about an unexpected equipment change.  Being the witty writer that he is, my husband responded perfectly and in such a way that it completely brightened my day!
03/06/2015 - 7:13AM - My Flight
Ughhh.  Today isn't any better.  My back is sore.  We were supposed to deadhead but they changed it so we are working and I'm the forward galley on a 767!  Haven't done this big plane in a long time.  I have to organize 2 carts and direct service for 30 business class passengers.  Yuck.
03/06/2015 - 12:02PM - RE: My Flight

Yuck?  That sounds exciting!  That's almost like a small restaurant's worth of people and you're in charge!  And it's a big plane so lots of room to stretch your legs and it will probably be a smoother flight.  And, it will still be light in Florida when you land so you'll get to watch the sunset in a place 40 degrees warmer than it is at home right now.  Then tomorrow night you'll be welcomed home to furry chinchillas!

Or maybe you weren't looking for encouragement, but something more like commiseration.  In that case:

That really sucks dear :-(  What an awful "surprise" to dump on you.  And you're still only halfway through the sequence.  Tonight it will be windy and too far from the beach to do anything, then tomorrow you will have to get up early for two more flights.  Double yuck :-(

My husband's response helped remind me of something very important:
We have a choice.  We can choose to be miserable or choose to be happy.  The decision is in our hands.  I'm not saying it's easy to be joyful when everything life throws at you is dreary.  Nevertheless, I think optimism is something for which we should strive.  Helen Keller thought so.

While completing her college studies in 1903, Helen Keller wrote an essay on optimism.  In her paper, the deaf-blind woman firmly asserted her belief that optimism is necessary for good to prevail.  I've posted below a few excerpts from her work.  I hope you'll find them as inspiring as I did and if you have time, you can read her entire essay HERE!  If you have more advice on how to stay cheerful in spite of everything, please share your idea in the comments below.  I'd love to hear from you!  :)

-Jenn Grahams

Helen Keller Quotes from her essay "Optimism"

"Every optimist moves along with progress and hastens it, while every pessimist would keep the world at a standstill.  [...] Pessimism kills the instinct that urges men to struggle against poverty, ignorance and crime, and dries up all the fountains of joy in the world."

"I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make that Best part of my life."

"...there are still great evils which have not been subdued, and the optimist is not blind to them, yet he is full of hope."


Joshua Martin
03/31/2015 20:10

Way to go, Jake! Sometimes we husbands do come in handy to put the rigors of life into perspective. At least we're good for something! LOL. I like your blogs so far, Jenn: keep it up!

04/08/2015 11:42

Thanks for the encouragement, Josh! It's been fun getting to share my writings with others. Thanks for commenting. Sometimes it's hard to know if anyone is out there. (And now I'm thinking of the creepy turrets in Portal saying, "Are you still there?" lol.)

08/26/2015 01:24

What a great submit! Apart from the actually valuable ideas, it really is just seriously ! Thanks a great deal of in your tips!!

09/02/2015 13:00

I do agree with the writer of this article in her point of view "We can choose to be miserable or choose to be happy. The decision is in our hands." It depends on us how we see if a glass is half empty or half full. No matter how famous we are, no matter how rich we are, how beautiful, how talented we are, when we focus on what are missing, our life will still be empty, our life will still be incomplete. On the other hand, if we focus on what we have, if we focus on our strengths, on our abilities, if we focus on all our blessings, our life will be full, full of appreciation and thankfulness. We'll then discover that life is happier, and more beautiful and complete.

10/05/2015 08:35

Great site. I add this Post to my bookmarks.


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    Jenn Grahams

    is a flight attendant and an aspiring writer.  She lives in the Midwest with her husband, many pet fish, and two chinchillas named Kuzco and Pancho.

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